Tag Archives: courses

Biodynamic Course

I’m running a biodynamic course over 6 Saturdays in 2011 – Working with the Moon & Stars

1.      16 April – Using the Calendar. This first Saturday gets you going with understanding the basics of biodynamic gardening, what it is, what it does and how to work it.

2.      21 May – Prep 500. Using the horn manure preparation. We make the preparation today, bring a jam jar with lid and you can take some home for your garden

3.      18 June – Prep 501. Using the horn silica preparation

4.      23 July – Cow-Pat-Pit. Making and using this starter preparation

5.      1 October – Horn Stuffing. Making horn manure, preparation 500

6.      12 November – Composting. Using the compost preparations
Cost: £45/day or £250 if you book all 6 days together

Venue: Archenland – details of how to get here sent when you book

Time: 1030-1600

Lunch: bring a dish to share with everyone

Contact us to reserve a place for the series – get going with biodynamics, it’s organics with Oomph !!!

Wye’s Women

Elen Sentier & Jennie Russell-Smith

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Rainbow Warrior Thoughts

Dawn over Dunkery Beacon

Students often tell me they find applying to the Rainbow Warriors course feels scary. This is good. If you feel something of the size of the change you are making to your life then it sounds like the powers are speaking with you … and you’re listening. The questions in the application are supposed to provoke and to make you think. One student asked me about the Saturn return and why I don’t accept folk before they have gone through this and my answer may be useful to others.

Saturn return – when you’re born the planet Saturn is in a particular position (along with all the others in your astrology chart). Approximately 29 years later it returns to the same place it was when you were born.

Saturn is very much about structure, the skeleton of your life-path, that which enables you to stand up rather than be a blob of jelly J. The Old Man comes around three times in most people’s lives. Each time it is like a form of death/rebirth and usually heralds changes in the person’s life, job, relationships. When the person is ripe for awakening the changes are about their commitment to Life, the Universe and Everything (to quote a delightful sci-fi book, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, LOL). People who haven’t got to this change in their lives are often unsure and unwilling (quite rightly) to make commitments that are not “personal”. The commitments you will be asked for if you wish to awaken to your soul-path will be  about what you can do for the Planet, the rest of Creation, rather than for yourself.

It’s a growing up thing. While Rainbow Warriors will grow you personally, to great depths and breadths, that growth comes about from giving your love and commitment to the Earth. And , in due course, all life whether in the solar System, this galaxy or the whole universe. Yup, big stuff ! but no greater than you can handle, with training and support. Otherworld desperately needs more people who are willing to work with them towards the evolution of all.

This is the shaman’s path. It can be a tough decision and a hard path but everyone I know who follows it is filled with joy … not happiness but joy. They feel connected to the Earth, to Life, to all things. They sense, feel, see the threads that link us, through which we transmit and receive life-giving energy. And they know everything as their brother/sister … not as an enemy/stranger to be feared and fought but soul-friends who all help each other.

  • Dunkery Beacon is one of the places we use for journey and ritual in Rainbow Warriors.

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Wye’s Woman Rainbow Warrior
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Celtic shaman – Elen Sentier Numerology

Wye’s Woman

I’m adding to the teaching I do for 2011, this is about some of the new work …

Wye’s Woman is about walking and sitting in the wisdom of the Land.

Most people live in towns and cities nowadays, they are not used to seeing a vast expanse of sky over them but have to peer up between rooftops to get a glimpse of sky. The times we live in do not encourage us to be still and quiet, to do nothing but listen and hear, feel, see, smell, taste, touch. If we go out, we have to be doing something, have a purpose and a goal, be able to tick the box when we get home.

The shaman’s journey is different. S/he goes out into the Land, not to change it but to be changed by it, by Her … the Celtic tradition feels the Earth, the Land, as feminine, as the goddess and calls her Sovereignty.

The goddess is in all things, from the smallest atom of rock to the hugest mountain. She is in tees and plants; animals, insects, birds; the soil and rocks and water; the air, warmth and light. She is within us too – if we will be still long enough to notice. She is in the River Wye, my home and mother-river, flowing around the land in which I live and she asks me to introduce her to others. So … Wye’s Woman.

The work is a lot about stillness, quietness, not talking but just being .. and opening up to hear the Lady, the goddess, speaking to us. This can be quite scary. You feel vulnerable, edgy. On the workshops you are encouraged to sit with these feelings, allow them to pass over and through you. This process washes you clean, makes space for the concepts the goddess wants to show you to come in.

The work is a form of shapeshifting, you let go of the shape-self you knew before and allow a new you to begin to grow. Most people who are interested will find the experience very deep, moving them into a new space. It’s usually a small but significant change that comes about – the goddess never pushes you beyond your limits but she can push you right to the edge.

Celtic World Tree

There are seven quests, between Imbolc and Samhain each year, exploring facets of our relationship to the goddess from the perspective of the seven points of the Celtic World Tree.

They all take place at sacred sites near the river Wye. I lead you into the Land and hold the energy for you but first we talk, I tell about the theme for that day, what we will do, what to expect.

We work through journeying, visioning, questing, poetry, song, dance and storytelling but most of all through listening in various forms of stillness. You can be still while walking, dancing, singing even …

The workshops cost £75/day, email Elen Sentier to find out more.

walk in the worlds of the Goddess
between the two lights
the twilight of sun and moon

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What are Rainbow Warriors?

You may be wondering why this course is called Rainbow Warriors … there is a very good reason. They are mentioned in various traditions and you may already know prophecies that relate to the 144,000 Rainbow Warriors, two of them are …

The Book of Revelations says …

the number of the saved is 144,000.

An old prophecy of the Native American peoples says

When the Earth is sick and all the animals are dying a tribe of people will come, of all colours and creeds, who will restore the Earth. They will be called Warriors of the Rainbow.

Rainbow Warriors are hidden in occult and esoteric lore – the word occult just means hidden, occluded. They are the 144,000 “petals” that hold and carry the energy within the energy centres or chakras. You learn how this works early in the course. As we all contain the 144,000 petals – we all have chakras – we are each of us “the number of the saved”. Our purpose is to become conscious of this and able to work with it along with working with Otherworld.

The native American prophecy fairly well describes the times we are living in. Only by being conscious of our place as a vital part of the whole, and one that can – through consciousness – make a difference can we restore the Earth. Our first conscious learning is of how we are made and that we are all made of the same stuff as the rest of creation. Joany Mitchell put it rather well in her song Woodstock, when she said “We are stardust …”, we are indeed. Rainbow Warriors know this and work with it for the good of all.

Turning Back to Serve

This saying comes from a master in the early 20th century and expresses what rainbow warriors do. Please don’t be put of by the somewhat archaic language J, take it all in and ponder it for yourself…

He who faces the light and stands within its radiance is blinded to the issues of the world of men; he passes on the Lighted Way to the great Centre of Absorption. But he who feels the urge to pass that way yet loves his brother on the darkened path, revolves upon the pedestal of light and turns the other way. He faces toward the dark, and then the seven points of light within himself transmit the outward streaming light and lo! the face of those upon the darkened way receives that light. For them the way is not so dark.

This is what we are about, turning back to help light the way for those who follow.

So Rainbow Warriors work for others rather than just for themselves. Of course, personal development goes on anyway – you cannot stop developing once your feet are on the path, you learn continuously from others. But the warriors’ focus is not on themselves. They serve all of creation, including other human beings. Here again, the focus is much broader than humanity alone. As shamans, Rainbow Warriors know the interconnectedness of all life, and know that they play a part in helping everything in creation become its true self. They turn back from personal completion, refusing to be blinded by the light and focused only on self, to shed the light of their own knowing (in so far as they have got) onto the path, to help light the way for others.

The Course

Rainbow Warriors is a 3 year practical course in advanced shamanism.

It’s an experiential rather than an academic course done through the Internet with a two-week workshop at the end. It is based in, but not exclusive to, the Western & Celtic magical traditions. It is about becoming a shaman, not a shamanic practitioner but the real thing. It gives a solid grounding in, and knowledge of, experiential shamanic magic and is designed to enable Students to become Walkers Between Worlds.

I do not give a certificate of graduation.  Shamanism is invisible and cannot be accredited in the common academic way.

You will know for yourself when Otherworld calls you “Elder” … and that will be your initiation at the end of the 3 years. This is why there are no certificates. It is not I who judge you, you bring yourself before Otherworld and they show and tell you where and what you are. You cannot do that in ordinary human terms of pieces of paper.

Being a shaman doesn’t mean you have to go round dressed in feathers and war-paint, although you can if you like. The people who’ve gone through the process, so far, have been all sorts of things … teacher, policewoman, scientist, computer boffin, artist, poet, ecologist, legal secretary, garden centre owner, anything a human being can do. They mostly still do the same sort of thing they did before but they do it a lot differently! RW has expanded how they see the world and so how they relate to it, and how useful they are to Mother Earth.

Your main subjects of study are  ..

  • Spiritual anatomy and engineering: including the chakras but from a place and in a way you probably never thought of before, a Celtic way.
  • Journeying – how to look after yourself doing this, very consciously, retaining choice throughout, AND learning not to harm anything else (even by accident) while you’re out there!
  • Biodynamics – a shamanic way of working with plants, gardens farming in the widest possible sense.
  • Healing – which is about Thread-Twining & Weaving.
  • Mastery – which is about SELF-MASTERY, learning to use your skills for the benefit of all creation. It includes seeing across time & space, and walking between worlds. You’ll understand this better as you go through the work.

Doing the Work …

You get 8 lessons each year – one for each of the 8 seasons of the Celtic year …

  • Samhain
  • Midwinter
  • Imbolc
  • Spring
  • Beltane
  • Midsummer
  • Lammas
  • Autumn

NB – if you live in the southern hemisphere you will celebrate the opposite season to us here in the north.

The course is hard work. It is largely experiential, about knowing of and for yourself, not parroting book learning or someone else’s experience. Then you distil, draw out the essence, the salient points of the knowing you have gained from doing the work.

You have a fair bit of reading, including fiction, in addition to your course notes. Each lesson you …

  • celebrate the season,
  • read and internally digest the lore;
  • make a journey and taleweave that journey into a story, write it up and send to me; you read a story and a book;
  • make one of the hallows, which includes journeying and ritual.
  • tell me what has changed for you. I give you a set of questions at the end of each lesson to help you with this, so you realise what you know, what you’ve learned and what’s changed. It’s the changes I’m interested in :-).

Workshop

At the end of September/beginning of October in your 3rd year there is a 2 week workshop on Exmoor, a very beautiful and magical place, with many sacred sites.

The workshop is experiential. It is an essential part of the process, this two weeks of the workshop, living and working very intensely with me, the other 2 w/s tutors and your colleagues. You live and work in the middle of scared places, tapping into their energy and wisdom, learning to work with them directly, and to work as a group. It is the completion of your three years’ training. It culminates in an initiation ritual, at grove up on the wilds of Exmoor that has been used for this purpose for 4000 years. You devise, this ritual as part of your work during the two weeks.

I share this teaching with 2 colleagues who are RW graduates. Your job is to show the 3 of us what you know – show NOT tell !!! Our job is to trick and tease you every which way so that you know just how skilled and competent you are 🙂

We spend a lot of time outside, working at the sacred sites, including some nightwork, and we do a dream incubation. You will be continually on your toes, being challenged, thinking on your feet … just as you will have to do from then on in your life and work as a shaman.

We stay in a beautiful, old farmhouse just at the top of the hill from one of the sacred sites we use. You will be in single or twin bedrooms; there are showers and baths, washing machine, dryers, dishwasher, wood-burning stove, central heating. we 3 tutors do all the cooking and you students do the washing-up – with the aid of the dishwasher so it’s not very arduous. The food is local, organic and some will be biodynamic, as well as home cooked. I usually make bread every day too. We can cater for all diets – just tell us what you need.

Being a Warrior …

In the course, you come to know (not believe) that the Earth is alive, has a spirit. In the Celtic tradition The Earth goes under several names, but the overall term is Sovereignty, Sovereignty is the spirit of the Land, the Earth herself. The elements – Earth, Air, Fire, Water – animals, trees, plants, fish, birds, insects, the very soil itself, all have spirit. Your work, over the three years, is to learn to contact, listen to and converse with these spirits in order to bring back the gifts and knowledge they have for the benefit of the Earth – not just humanity but the whole Earth and everything that lives and moves and breathes therein. The shaman is the intercessor between these spirits, otherworld and his people. The shaman knows respect for all life, whether it has the same shape as him or her self, the same number of legs, the same language. The shaman knows Life, and soul (anima) and spirit in all things. This is animism. Anima is the soul and animists (and shamans) know the soul within everything – even if many folk cannot see or know it. Shamans learn respect and responsibility, knowing that every action really does have its equal and opposite reaction … in the east, they call this karma, in Britain the ancient word is geas which has more of the idea of duty, respect and responsibility behind it. Geas is the promise, and whatever promise you make you will be held to. The shaman knows this, hence he does not make promises lightly.

In Britain, the old ways are still handed down, but they are well hidden from ordinary view. Many people are unaware that Britain has a living tradition. Rainbow Warriors is one way of handing that tradition on, in ways which make it very pertinent to the 21st century in which we live. Rainbow Warriors are able to help those they come in contact with in many ways, healing can take many forms besides the simple ‘curing’ of an ailment. Rainbow Warriors are especially concerned with human beings’ relationship with the Land and the Earth. They carry their magical work into their everyday jobs, like accountancy, ecology, teaching, engineering, business, counselling, psychotherapy and the arts. This is practical shamanism. Always, shamans are part of their community and that still follows today.

If you think this course might be for you read my book Dreamweaver. This gives the basic tenets used in the course and shows you how I work. If you find yourself comfortable with this then Rainbow Warriors may be for you.

  • Warriors know themselves, and so are honest with themselves and with everyone else.
  • Warriors honour their commitments.
  • Warriors put the Earth and all that lives and moves and has its being therein, before themselves.

Is this what you want? If so, complete and send the application form to begin the process …

Elen Sentier

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Celtic shaman – Elen Sentier Monarda & Rain

Wye’s Woman Workshops

Wye’s Woman …

Source of the Wye

I live by the river Wye, Afon Gwy, one of the mother rivers of Britain. she rises on one side of the Plynlimon mountain and flows down to join with her sister, Hafren, better known as the Severn. The Afon Hafren, the longest river in Great Britain and rises at around 2000ft on the other side of the mountain of Plynlimon and flows for 220 miles eventually joining with sea, and the Wye, at the Bristol Channel.

The Wye is the fifth longest river in Britain and forms much of the boundary between Wales and England … the Shadowlands, Twilight lands between the worlds where I live. Journeys have shown me I have deep links to this part of the Land, Clas Myrddyn, Merlin’s country that go back over 4000 years – it’s a humbling thought :-).

The Wye is a mighty river and in full spate can be quite overwhelming … as can all goddesses, especially Mother Goddesses. I love her dearly and she is asking for people to come and work with her … hence this page.

Wye’s Woman comes from her – I am her woman, as are many who work hereabouts. I sit at her banks and climb her hills, walk beside her. The workshops are about that. It’s a form of vision quest that’s very Celtic, we don’t just sit in one place but walk the Land, asking the Land to feed us with vision and inspiration, ideas and teachings. For the Celts, the goddess is in the Land itself as well as everywhere throughout the cosmos, not either/or but and/and, inclusive.

The workshops come out of my walking and working. I’ll take you to 8 places along the part of the Wye valley where I live, sacred places, used for thuosands of years by folk who know the Land and know the River – Earth and Water that supports us and enables us to live.

Exploring the Goddess

We’ll explore the goddess’ relationship with her Guardian, the god, how he serves her and cares for her … and we’ll learn our own relationship to her and our own way of serving and guarding her by connecting into her sacred places and listening to her. We’ll also celebrate her with ritual and bring her gifts.

The workshops are 1-day, Saturdays, close to the eight Celtic festivals of the year … Samhain, Midwinter, Imbolc, Spring, Beltane, Midsummer, Lammas and Autumn. Some of them will last through the night when we, or you individually, “sit-out” and will include Staff Singing, a method of inducing a receptive state for the Goddess to speak to us and for us to be able to hear her.

We will also be making spirit dolls and houses, dressing trees, making a group totem pole and other ritual talismans from the things around us in the Land where we work. The Goddess always gives what we need … the trick is learning to see it :-).

Cost £600 (£75/day)  if booked all together

or £85/day if you book individual days.

Elen Sentier
… behind every gifted woman there’s usually a rather talented cat …
writer artist gardener shaman
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Celtic shaman – Elen Sentier British Native Trees

  • Places we will work at include …
Arthur’s Stone
Yew Tree Cauldron
Vowchurch Alder Roots
Dinedor
Eaton Camp
Kilpeck Goddess
Mordiford Bridge over the River Lugg
Symonds Yat